No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

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Goal33
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No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm

We are a 28/27 year old couple. No kids yet. Looking at adding beneficiaries to our accounts now.

If one of us were to go... the other would be beneficiary. Simple enough.

We we both went, there will be north of $1M (no physical property, all stock/bond between taxable/non-taxable).

If it's relevant, 90% of these assets are mine from before marriage...

I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).

Just curious- what are other people doing in a similar scenario?
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Utahdogowner
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Utahdogowner » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:51 pm

You could, for ~1K, set up a trust that would hire your brother (and hers if you wanted) to be executors to use the money for things you would've wanted it to go towards - like setting up a college scholarship. Pay your brothers 1k a year to meet and pick recipients, give the recipient 50k, repeat.
Or just donate it to a charity.

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JoeRetire
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:53 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
What does your wife want to do?

Do that.
Don't be a lemming.

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celia
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by celia » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:00 pm

The simplest thing for now is to list each other as primary beneficiary and charities as secondary.

The odds you both die together are slim. You pretty much would have to be traveling together when an accident occurs. Even then, if it can be determined that one of you lived a minute longer than the other, the "survivor's" beneficiary would end up with the account.

It's good that you are taking care of this now, rather than having family squabbles later, if no beneficiaries are listed.
Last edited by celia on Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nesta
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by nesta » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:03 pm

Husband and I have no kids and not having kids. Until we set up our trust, we had ours split 50/50 between our parents. Having a trust is much easier, because you can specify $ amounts to each person. Between my husband and I we have 5 siblings and 9 nieces/nephews, which would just be too hard without the trust. Plus we want a majority of our assets to go to charities, so our wishes are now very clear.

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dm200
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:04 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:53 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
What does your wife want to do?
Do that.
Yes :)

My wife and I had wills drafted just before we were married and signed them right after the wedding (a few weeks later).

We had no children for several years, BUT the wills were drafted so that they provided for any children.

Our wills were near exact mirror images of each other. In other words, for example, my will provided for her family to get a share of my assets if she predeceased me.

I think we each made the other the primary heir for everything, then any children we may have, then our relatives (I think it was sibling then parents or the other way around)

Fortunately for us, none of the siblings were, or are, "deadbeats".

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JoeRetire
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:05 pm

celia wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:00 pm
The odds you both die together are slim. You pretty much would have to be traveling together when an accident occurs. Even then, if it can be determined that one of you lived a minute longer than the other, the "survivor's" beneficiary would end up with the account.
But of course that's not a solution. The question the OP is asking is: who should be each survivor's beneficiary?
Don't be a lemming.

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Goal33
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:08 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:53 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
What does your wife want to do?

Do that.
We both are looking for ideas :sharebeer
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by bsteiner » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:09 pm

Utahdogowner wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:51 pm
You could, for ~1K, set up a trust that would hire your brother (and hers if you wanted) to be executors to use the money for things you would've wanted it to go towards - like setting up a college scholarship. Pay your brothers 1k a year to meet and pick recipients, give the recipient 50k, repeat.
Or just donate it to a charity.
You could set up a foundation in your Will. It wouldn't cost much to include it in your Will. But it will cost much more than $1,000 to get a tax exemption for it after your death, especially if you want it to be for scholarships. The IRS has additional requirements for foundations that want to give scholarships.

Alternatively, if you want it to be for scholarships, you could leave it to your favorite school(s), to be held as an endowment, with the income to be used for scholarships.

barnaclebob
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:10 pm

Each of us has one sibling so they are the current beneficiaries.

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dm200
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:14 pm

celia wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:00 pm
The simplest thing for now is to list each other as primary beneficiary and charities as secondary.
The odds you both die together are slim. You pretty much would have to be traveling together when an accident occurs. Even then, if it can be determined that one of you lived a minute longer than the other, the "survivor's" beneficiary would end up with the account.
It's good that you are taking care of this now, rather than having family squabbles later, if no beneficiaries are listed.
Yes - slim - BUT NOT ZERO.

Traveling together is probably the most likely, but could also be poisoning, deadly contagious diseases (such as Ebola, Legionnaires), mass murders, serial killers, police mistaken identity, murder/suicide, your child kills both of you, plane hits your house, another World Trade Center, jealous ex boyfriends and girlfriends, crazy relatives and inlaws, and so on. [maybe I watch too many episodes of Forensic Files or Bones]

Our estate attorney has a great true story of a real mess when a married couple (no children) each took a poisoned Tylenol - and both died within an hour of each other. It was very clearly documented (hospital records) accurately and precisely the time of each death. Our attorney's point was to show why just about everyone should have a well thought out will. [This married couple did not have wills at the time of their deaths.]

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celia
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by celia » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:29 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:14 pm
celia wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:00 pm
The simplest thing for now is to list each other as primary beneficiary and charities as secondary.
The odds you both die together are slim. You pretty much would have to be traveling together when an accident occurs. Even then, if it can be determined that one of you lived a minute longer than the other, the "survivor's" beneficiary would end up with the account.
It's good that you are taking care of this now, rather than having family squabbles later, if no beneficiaries are listed.
Yes - slim - BUT NOT ZERO.

Traveling together is probably the most likely, but could also be poisoning, deadly contagious diseases (such as Ebola, Legionnaires), mass murders, serial killers, police mistaken identity, murder/suicide, your child kills both of you, plane hits your house, another World Trade Center, jealous ex boyfriends and girlfriends, crazy relatives and inlaws, and so on. [maybe I watch too many episodes of Forensic Files or Bones]

Our estate attorney has a great true story of a real mess when a married couple (no children) each took a poisoned Tylenol - and both died within an hour of each other. It was very clearly documented (hospital records) accurately and precisely the time of each death. Our attorney's point was to show why just about everyone should have a well thought out will. [This married couple did not have wills at the time of their deaths.]
Thanks. You just made my point that even if you/someone else/nature intended for you to die together, it can often be determined who died first. Simultaneous deaths that don't have an exact time of death are more likely to be when there is no immediate access to health care, such as in an explosion or airplane crash. It will likely be sudden, with no time for anyone to help either of you.

senex
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by senex » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:36 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
It doesn't necessarily have to be fair. Also, "fair" might mean the 90% of martial assets you brought go to your brother. Just an idea.

Also, whatever you leave to your brother by beneficiary designation is private -- i.e. no one else would know (unless told by you) about the existence of those accounts or their value.

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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Ragnoth » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm

If one of you dies first, the other one can always change their will or just start giving away money (I know that isn’t what you are asking about, but I think it helps give perspective).

Most States have laws on the books treating anything within a week or so as “simultaneous” for estate purposes—so the whole thing about proving who technically died first in a crash or something is probably moot (the laws were made specifically to avoid weird grisly suits about that stuff).

Getting to your actual issue, you should probably make a joint decision (otherwise, the default is marital assets get split up between “his” and “hers” and follow whatever the instructions are in your respective wills had your partner predeceased you).

This is the kind of thing to discuss with an estate attorney, but you can consider splitting up everything 50/50 between your brother and her brother. Assuming she understands that her brother is untrustworthy, you can have his portion stuck in a “support trust” with spendthrift provisions. The gist is that he can’t just have the principle directly, but he can have as much as he needs for his education/health/maintaining a decent lifestyle (i.e., carry on at his current level of luxury and comfort). You would need somebody to manage it (or get a professional company that will charge lol 1-2% AUM)... but it creates a giant safety net without the risk of them gambling it away.

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Goal33
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:11 pm

senex wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:36 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
It doesn't necessarily have to be fair. Also, "fair" might mean the 90% of martial assets you brought go to your brother. Just an idea.

Also, whatever you leave to your brother by beneficiary designation is private -- i.e. no one else would know (unless told by you) about the existence of those accounts or their value.
Good point... this would probably make me feel more comfortable. Food for thought.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

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JoeRetire
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:12 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:08 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:53 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
What does your wife want to do?

Do that.
We both are looking for ideas :sharebeer
Talk to your wife.

You said you don't want to leave money to your parents and her brother.
The only thing you said you do want is to leave it to your brother.

Without any other input, you should just leave it all to your brother. But I'm guessing your wife has *some* ideas?

If you both don't care, then just let the courts decide - you won't be around anyway.
Don't be a lemming.

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Goal33
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:21 pm

thanks all for the input.

We will start by listing each other as beneficiaries today on our non-joint accounts (though I think this would be default anyway).

We will work on contingent beneficiaries via starting the discussion. Interesting the nuances however though. I might want money to go to xyz, but if I go first, nothing can assure that happens.

Thanks again.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

Retired2013
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Retired2013 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:38 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:11 pm
senex wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:36 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
It doesn't necessarily have to be fair. Also, "fair" might mean the 90% of martial assets you brought go to your brother. Just an idea.

Also, whatever you leave to your brother by beneficiary designation is private -- i.e. no one else would know (unless told by you) about the existence of those accounts or their value.
Good point... this would probably make me feel more comfortable. Food for thought.
Married with no kids. We just had our wills done. As of now, about 10% would pass by will. The other 90% is by beneficiary. We wanted everything 50 / 50 since we earned it together. We made a spreadsheet and listed all of my relatives which will add up to 50% and she listed all of her relatives which is the other 50%. The percentage left to each individual doesn't need to be the same. I have 4 siblings and 6 nieces / nephews and she has a mother, 3 siblings and 5 nieces / nephews. My 10 relatives must equal 50% and her 9 relatives equals 50%.

Please note that not all of the relatives are going to receive something. However, I feel that I would rather put more ( a higher percentage) to my nieces / nephews than my siblings. I hope that we have another 30 years and the nieces / nephews will just be getting ready to retire so the $$ will help them. As my siblings get older, they will need less and we don't want to have the funds going to long term care so their percentage will be declining over the years while the nieces / nephews will increase.

All retirement accounts (hers & mine) have all 19 relatives listed as secondary beneficiaries. Each year we will review and change as desired. The will will remain as is since it only represents 10% of our assets.

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JoeRetire
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:57 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:21 pm
I might want money to go to xyz, but if I go first, nothing can assure that happens.
That depends on what your will says and the laws of your state.
And if not through your will, you can establish and fund a trust to assure that money can go to xyz if that's what you want.
Don't be a lemming.

tigermilk
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by tigermilk » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:05 pm

We made a rssther complicated distribution. Basically, parents, siblings, and nieces/nephews get shares. Each generation's gets a smaller share, so parents get the biggest slice, siblings next, ... So any surviving relations get summed up by share count, total assets divided by that number for a single share price, and distributions paid out as shares*share price. If I recall parents get 5 shares (per couple, not each), siblings 3 each, and the young ones 1 each.

7eight9
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by 7eight9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:16 pm

Ragnoth wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:51 pm
If one of you dies first, the other one can always change their will or just start giving away money (I know that isn’t what you are asking about, but I think it helps give perspective).

Most States have laws on the books treating anything within a week or so as “simultaneous” for estate purposes—so the whole thing about proving who technically died first in a crash or something is probably moot (the laws were made specifically to avoid weird grisly suits about that stuff).

Getting to your actual issue, you should probably make a joint decision (otherwise, the default is marital assets get split up between “his” and “hers” and follow whatever the instructions are in your respective wills had your partner predeceased you).

This is the kind of thing to discuss with an estate attorney, but you can consider splitting up everything 50/50 between your brother and her brother. Assuming she understands that her brother is untrustworthy, you can have his portion stuck in a “support trust” with spendthrift provisions. The gist is that he can’t just have the principle directly, but he can have as much as he needs for his education/health/maintaining a decent lifestyle (i.e., carry on at his current level of luxury and comfort). You would need somebody to manage it (or get a professional company that will charge lol 1-2% AUM)... but it creates a giant safety net without the risk of them gambling it away.
Uniform Simultaneous Death Act --- A standard set of laws, enacted by some U.S. states, to deal with inheritance in the case that two people die simultaneously. The Act says that if two (or more) people die within 120 hours of each other, each is considered to have predeceased the other unless a will or other document specifies otherwise.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/uniform ... _death_act
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:33 pm

Currently beneficiaries are Broken Man's estate, and Mrs. Broken Man's estate. Each of our holdings go into trust when we die. I will most likely set up trusts shells soon, just to facilitate ease of passage. Our wills set them up anyway, but I don't have to wait to set them up.

I have a minor change I need to make, so after the end of this year I'll meet with our estate lawyer and probably set the trusts up then. The change is very minor, doesn't have to be done, but I'd rather be proactive and have one less thing for myself, or anyone else to have to fool with later.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

7eight9
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by 7eight9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:47 pm

My wife and I have each other listed as beneficiaries.

Other than that the State of Nevada will provide an equitable distribution of assets (ref NRS Chapter 134 --- https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-134.html).
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

downshiftme
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by downshiftme » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:13 pm

Before we had kids, we just listed each other as primary beneficiary. Whoever was last to die could do whatever they wanted (all to their family for example) but it wasn't enough to be concerned about and perhaps naively we trusted each other not to do that. If we both died at the same time, the contingent beneficiaries were all of our siblings on both sides and all of the nieces and nephews on both sides, per capita. Both sets of parents didn't need an inheritance from us, but we figured to spread it widely over what family we had. Some siblings were already better off than others, but it didn't seem up to us to try to make choices other than everyone gets an equal share. For all the minors we gave their share to their parents in trust with virtually no restrictions but a non-enforceable letter suggesting they invest it for future education. Again it didn't seem worth the effort to set up expensive and elaborate trusts given the amount of money involved.

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Goal33
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Goal33 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:37 pm

downshiftme wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:13 pm
Before we had kids, we just listed each other as primary beneficiary. Whoever was last to die could do whatever they wanted (all to their family for example) but it wasn't enough to be concerned about and perhaps naively we trusted each other not to do that. If we both died at the same time, the contingent beneficiaries were all of our siblings on both sides and all of the nieces and nephews on both sides, per capita. Both sets of parents didn't need an inheritance from us, but we figured to spread it widely over what family we had. Some siblings were already better off than others, but it didn't seem up to us to try to make choices other than everyone gets an equal share. For all the minors we gave their share to their parents in trust with virtually no restrictions but a non-enforceable letter suggesting they invest it for future education. Again it didn't seem worth the effort to set up expensive and elaborate trusts given the amount of money involved.
"wasn't enough" - are you talking more or less money than I am talking?
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retire57
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by retire57 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:54 pm

All going to our favorite local charity.

downshiftme
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by downshiftme » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:59 pm

"wasn't enough" - are you talking more or less money than I am talking?
Well, a bit less than you mention ($1 million) but it was also many years ago so the situations were somewhat comparable.

Do you distrust your spouse so much that you want to make a huge effort to set up trusts and contingencies for very unlikely scenarios? We didn't. We set up basic (all to the other spouse) wills, set beneficiaries on accounts appropriately, and trusted each other (and our contingent beneficiaries) to do the right thing without needing highly detailed legal straightjackets. Maybe we were too naive, but luckily we never had to test it.

With kids and a lot more assets to worry about now, we have much more involved estate plans.

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GerryL
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by GerryL » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:02 am

Single. No kids.
I’m in the process of redoing my estate plan, but much will remain the same: Most going to charity, residual estate mostly to the executor (brother, nephew or friend). I figure that is payment/motivation for doing the job.

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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:49 am

The hierarchy of benefiviaries is

Mom
Brother
Brother’s wife
Nephew
1st cousin
Finally. My high school if no one above is alive.

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dm200
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by dm200 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:05 am

For those who might plan to leave a portion of their estate to certain charities - some advice my late father received from the attorney that drafted his will:

In his later years, my late father regularly donated to a charitable/religious organization/"cause" that is under the jurisdiction of his/our religious denomination. It was my father's intent to specify in his will that a certain percentage of his estate assets go to this organization.

His estate attorney suggested otherwise - that my father make whatever donations he wished while still alive and not leave a percentage (or similar share) of his estate assets to this religious entity. The attorney, apparently, had some "experiences" where the "management" (clergy, for the most part) of such religious organizations would tie up the settlement of such estates - to make sure they got every nickel that was owed them.

My late father took this advise - and his estate (my brother was the executor) was settled very quickly, cleanly and at low cost.

downshiftme
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by downshiftme » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:51 pm

I received similar advice about not leaving either a percentage or a specific dollar amount to charities, along with the caution that some charities have very aggressive lawyers who tie up the estate to make sure that they get every little bit they could squeeze from it.

The pitfall of specific dollar amount was that if markets do poorly, the specific dollar amount is paid out first and may leave little for other beneficiaries. The percentage amount risks the intervention of charity lawyers who want to make sure the estate is managed to maximize their take from the percentage.

The three alternatives suggested to me were: 1) make any charitable bequests while alive, 2) put the charitable giving into a donor advised fund and separately give directions for how that is distributed, 3) earmark only specific accounts (not amounts or percentages) to charitable causes.

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GerryL
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by GerryL » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:38 pm

downshiftme wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:51 pm
I received similar advice about not leaving either a percentage or a specific dollar amount to charities, along with the caution that some charities have very aggressive lawyers who tie up the estate to make sure that they get every little bit they could squeeze from it.

The pitfall of specific dollar amount was that if markets do poorly, the specific dollar amount is paid out first and may leave little for other beneficiaries. The percentage amount risks the intervention of charity lawyers who want to make sure the estate is managed to maximize their take from the percentage.

The three alternatives suggested to me were: 1) make any charitable bequests while alive, 2) put the charitable giving into a donor advised fund and separately give directions for how that is distributed, 3) earmark only specific accounts (not amounts or percentages) to charitable causes.
Good to know. I'm already doing #1 and #3. May also do #2, eventually.

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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by topper1296 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:52 pm

retire57 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:54 pm
All going to our favorite local charity.
I was also going to suggest a charity and/or maybe endow a scholarship at a college.

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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by smackboy1 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:57 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
We are a 28/27 year old couple. No kids yet. Looking at adding beneficiaries to our accounts now.

If one of us were to go... the other would be beneficiary. Simple enough.

We we both went, there will be north of $1M (no physical property, all stock/bond between taxable/non-taxable).

If it's relevant, 90% of these assets are mine from before marriage...

I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
With a > $1 MM estate, 90% from only 1 spouse, both of you should get a basic estate plan ASAP. Both of you should think deeply about the potential destructive aftermath of poor planning. The survivors may fight over the estate or there could be some unintended consequences.

Look what happened to Jim Morrison's estate. The present value of that estate is in the millions. Morrison had a simple will - too simple. He left everything to his wife, Pam Courson. If she failed to survive him, everything was to go to Morrison's brother and sister whom he was close to. Courson died 3 years later intestate and her parents inherited everything via the intestacy statute. Morrison's own parents sued for a share of the estate and there was a settlement. In the end the Jim Morrison legacy went to his parents and Courson's parent - none of whom Morrison particularly liked and they didn't like him either. Morrison's siblings whom he wanted to benefit if Courson died, got screwed.

I would recommend a will for each spouse designed to account for as many scenarios as possible, no matter how unlikely, including:

- unborn children
- simultaneous death of both spouses
- death of one spouse and the other is incapacitated
- death of one spouse and remarriage of the other to a gold digger
- the Cinderella scenario
- her brother might be a deadbeat, but maybe assets could be left to his children in trust
- leaving 90% assets to your brother in trust might make his life easier dealing with the family

Don't designate an account beneficiary or use POD/TOD. It's a blunt tool and will supercede a will. Leave it blank or name "My Estate" as the beneficiary.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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dm200
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Re: No Kids Yet - Beneficaries - Who are yours?

Post by dm200 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:20 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:57 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:42 pm
We are a 28/27 year old couple. No kids yet. Looking at adding beneficiaries to our accounts now.
If one of us were to go... the other would be beneficiary. Simple enough.
We we both went, there will be north of $1M (no physical property, all stock/bond between taxable/non-taxable).
If it's relevant, 90% of these assets are mine from before marriage...
I don't want to give to our parents... However, I'd like to give to my brother, but wouldn't be fair since I don't want to give to her brother (deadbeat).
With a > $1 MM estate, 90% from only 1 spouse, both of you should get a basic estate plan ASAP. Both of you should think deeply about the potential destructive aftermath of poor planning. The survivors may fight over the estate or there could be some unintended consequences.
Look what happened to Jim Morrison's estate. The present value of that estate is in the millions. Morrison had a simple will - too simple. He left everything to his wife, Pam Courson. If she failed to survive him, everything was to go to Morrison's brother and sister whom he was close to. Courson died 3 years later intestate and her parents inherited everything via the intestacy statute. Morrison's own parents sued for a share of the estate and there was a settlement. In the end the Jim Morrison legacy went to his parents and Courson's parent - none of whom Morrison particularly liked and they didn't like him either. Morrison's siblings whom he wanted to benefit if Courson died, got screwed.
I would recommend a will for each spouse designed to account for as many scenarios as possible, no matter how unlikely, including:
- unborn children
- simultaneous death of both spouses
- death of one spouse and the other is incapacitated
- death of one spouse and remarriage of the other to a gold digger
- the Cinderella scenario
- her brother might be a deadbeat, but maybe assets could be left to his children in trust
- leaving 90% assets to your brother in trust might make his life easier dealing with the family
Don't designate an account beneficiary or use POD/TOD. It's a blunt tool and will supercede a will. Leave it blank or name "My Estate" as the beneficiary.
Yes - nice to see some points I have made.

I agree this example demonstrates the deficiencies (huge in this case) of simple wills.

Yes - 100% (maybe 200%) agreement about POD/TOD for any "significant" account balances.

"Unintended consequences" is the key phrase to keep in mind for estate planning.

Even if you, currently, have a low amount of assets, that could change upward a lot in certain cases. Maybe you died with a lottery ticket in your pocket that was worth $10 Million. Maybe you died in a horrible auto accident - and your family then won a BIG liability claim (on your behalf) against the person "at fault" for your death.

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